Fusion Middleware

Four Options for Creating Mindbreeze Search Interfaces

A well-designed search interface is a critical component of an engaging search experience. Mindbreeze provides a nice combination of both pre-built search apps and tools for customization. This post explores the following approaches to building a Mindbreeze search interface:

  • The Mindbreeze Default Search Client
  • The Mindbreeze Search App Designer
  • Custom Mindbreeze Web Applications
  • The Mindbreeze REST API
Option 1: The Mindbreeze Default Search Client Flexibility: Low | Development Effort: None

Mindbreeze includes a built-in search client which offers a feature-rich, mobile friendly, search interface out of the box. Built-in controls exist to configure filter facets, define suggestion sources, and enable or disable export. Features are enabled and disabled via the Client Service configuration interface within the Mindbreeze Management Center. The metadata displayed within the default client is determined by the value of the “visible” property set in the Category Descriptor for the respective data sources. Some of the Mindbreeze features exposed through the default client are not available via a designer-built search app (discussed in Option 2). These include saved searches, result groupings (i.e. summarize-by), the sort-by picker, sources filters, and tabs. Organizations that wish to use these features without much effort would be wise to consider the Mindbreeze Default Search Client.

In order to integrate the built-in client with a website or application, users are typically redirected from the primary website to the Mindbreeze client when performing a search. The default client is served directly from the search appliance and the query term can be passed in the URL from the website’s search box to the Mindbreeze client. Alternately, the built-in client can be embedded directly into a website using an iframe.

What is a Category Descriptor?

Mindbreeze uses an XML file called the Category Descriptor (categorydescriptor.xml) to control various aspects of both indexing and serving for each data source category (e.g. Web, SharePoint, Google Drive, etc.). Each category plugin includes a default Category Descriptor which can be extended or modified to meet your needs. Common modifications include adding localized display labels for metadata field names, boosting the overall impact of a metadata field on relevancy, and changing which fields are visible within the default search client.

Option 2: The Mindbreeze Search App Designer Flexibility: Moderate | Development Effort: None to Moderate

The Mindbreeze Search App Designer provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating modular, mobile-friendly, search applications. Some of the most popular modules include filters, maps, charts, and galleries. Many of these features are not enabled on the aforementioned default Client, so a search app is the easiest way to use them. This drag-and-drop configuration allows for layout adjustments, widget selection, and basic configurations without coding or technical knowledge. To further customize search apps, users can modify the mustache templates that control the rendering of each search widget within the search app. Common modifications include conditionally adjusting visible metadata, removing actions, or adding custom callouts or icons for certain result types. 

A key feature is the ability to export the code needed to embed a search app into a website or application from the Search Apps page in the Mindbreeze Management Center. That code can then be placed directly in a div or iframe on the target website eliminating the need to redirect users to the appliance. Custom CSS files may be used to style the results to match the rest of the website. Although you can add a search box directly to a search app, webpages usually have their own search box in the header. You can utilize query terms from an existing search box by passing them as a URL parameter where they will be picked up by the embedded search app.

Did you know? This website uses a search app for Mindbreeze-powered website search. For a deep-dive look at that integration, check out our blog post on How We Integrated this Website with Mindbreeze InSpire.

Option 3: Custom Mindbreeze Web Applications Flexibility: High | Development Effort: Low to Moderate

The default client mentioned in Option 1 can also be copied to create a new custom version of a Mindbreeze Web Application. The most common alteration is to add a reference to a custom CSS file which modifies the look and feel of the search results without changing the underlying data or DOM structure. This modification is easy and low risk. It also very easy to isolate issues related to such a change, as you can always attempt to reproduce an issue using the default client without your custom CSS.

More substantial modifications to the applications index.html or JavaScript files can also be made to significantly customize and alter the behavior of the search experience. Examples include adding custom business logic to manipulate search constraints or applying dynamic boosting to alter relevancy at search time. Other Mindbreeze UI elements can also be added to customized web apps using Mindbreeze HTML building blocks; this includes many of the elements exposed through the search app Designer such as graphs, maps, and timelines. While these types of alterations require deeper technical knowledge than simply adding custom CSS, they are still often less effort than building a custom UI from scratch (as described in Option 4). These changes may require refactoring to be compatible with future versions or integrate new features over time, so this should be considered when implementing your results page.

Option 4: The Mindbreeze REST API Flexibility: High | Development Effort: Moderate to High

For customers seeking a more customized integration, the Mindbreeze REST API allows search results to be returned as JSON, giving you full control over their presentation. Custom search pages also allow for dynamic alterations to the query, constraints, or other parameters based on custom business logic. Filters, spelling suggestions, preview URLs, and other Mindbreeze features are all available in the JSON response, but it is up to the front-end developers to determine which features to render on the page, how to arrange them, and what styling to use. This approach allows for the most control and tightest integration with the containing site, but it is also the most effort. That said, just because custom search pages generally require the greatest effort is not to say selecting this option always will result in a lengthy deployment. In fact, one of our clients used the Mindbreeze API to power their custom search page and went from racking to go-live in 37 days.

Mindbreeze offers an excellent combination of built-in features with tools for extending capabilities when necessary. If you have any questions about our experience with Mindbreeze or would like to know more, please contact us.

The post Four Options for Creating Mindbreeze Search Interfaces appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Fishbowl Solutions Leverages Oracle WebCenter to Create Enterprise Employee Portal Solution for National Insurance Company

An insurance company that specializes in business insurance and risk management services for select industries was struggling to provide their 2,300 employees with an employee portal system that kept users engaged and informed. They desired to provide their employees with a much more modern employee portal that leveraged the latest web technologies while making it easier for business users to contribute content. With the ability for business stakeholders to own and manage content on the site, the company believed the new portal would be updated more frequently, which would make it stickier and keep users coming back.

Business Objective

The company had old intranet infrastructure that included 28 Oracle Site Studio Sites. The process for the company’s various business units to contribute content to the site basically involved emailing Word documents to the company’s IT department. IT would then get them checked into their old WebCenter Content system that supported the SiteStudio system. Once the documents were converted to a web-viewable format, it would appear on the site. Since IT did not have a dedicated administrator for the portal, change requests typically took days and sometimes even weeks. With the company’s rapid growth, disseminating information to employees quickly and effectively became a priority. The employee portal was seen as the single place where employees could access company, department and role-specific information – on their desktop or mobile device. The company needed a new portal solution backed by strong content management capabilities to make this possible. Furthermore, Oracle Site Studio was being sunsetted, so the company needed to move off an old and unsupported system and onto a modern portal platform that had a development roadmap to support their business needs now and into the future. The company chose Oracle WebCenter Content and Portal 12c as this new system.

The company’s goals for the new employee portal were:

  • Expand what the business can do without IT involvement
  • Better engage and inform employees
  • Less manual, more dynamic portal content
  • Improve overall portal usability
  • Smart navigation – filter menus by department and role
  • Mobile access

Because of several differentiators and experience, the insurance company chose Fishbowl Solutions to help them meet their goals. The company really liked that Fishbowl offered a packaged solution that they felt would enable them to go to market faster with their new portal. Effectively, the company was looking for a portal framework that included the majority of what they needed – navigation, page templates, taskflows, etc. – that could be achieved with less coding and more configuration. This solution is called Portal Solution Accelerator.

Oracle WebCenter Paired with Fishbowl’s Portal Solution Accelerator

After working together to evaluate the problems, goals, strategy, and timeline, Fishbowl created a plan to help them create their desired Portal. Fishbowl offered software and services for rapid deployment and portal set up by user experience and content integration. Fishbowl upgraded the company’s portal from SiteStudio to Oracle WebCenter Portal and Content 12c. Fishbowl’s Portal Solution Accelerator includes portal and content bundles consisting of a collection of code, pages, assets, content and templates. PSA also offers content integration, single-page application (SPA) task flows, and built-in personalization. These foundational benefits for the portal resulted in a reduction in time-to-market, speed and performance, and developer-friendly design.

Results

After implementing the new Portal and various changes, the content publishing time was reduced by 90 percent as the changes and updates now occur in hours instead of days or weeks, which encourages users to publish content. The new Framework allows for new portals to be created with little work from IT. Additionally, the in-place editor makes it easy for business users to edit their content and see changes in real-time. Role-based contribution and system-managed workflows streamline to content governance. The new mega-menu provided by the SPA provides faster, more intuitive navigation to intranet content. This navigation is overlaid with Google Search integration, further ensuring that users can find the content they need. Most of the components used in the intranet are reusable and easy to modify for unique cases. Therefore, the company can stay up-to-date with minimal effort. Finally, the Portal has phone, tablet, and desktop support making the intranet more accessible, ensuring repeat visits.

Overall, the national insurance company has seen an immense change in content publishing time reduction, ease of editing content, and managing and governing the portal since working with Fishbowl. The solutions that Fishbowl created and implemented helped decrease weekly internal support calls from twenty to one.

The post Fishbowl Solutions Leverages Oracle WebCenter to Create Enterprise Employee Portal Solution for National Insurance Company appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Fishbowl Solutions’ ControlCenter Drives Down Project-Related Costs by $400,000 for National Builder and Real Estate Management Company

A large builder, developer, and real estate management company with over 600 million employees and $1 billion in revenue reached out to Fishbowl Solutions for help with their employee onboarding and project-related content management processes.

Approximately eight percent of their employees were projected to retire by 2020, 43 percent of new hires were under the age of 35, and 41 percent of the workforce had less than two years tenure. The salary cost to onboard a new hire nearly tripled after an employee left. Additionally, the average cost of reinventing projects was $16,000 while the average cost of estimating with incorrect rates was $25,000. All these factors were causing the company’s project initiation/startup costs to be much higher than expected leading to less profit.

Business Objective

The company was in search of a solution to streamline their onboarding process and provide easier access to content overall. Their documents were scattered across file shares, Oracle WebCenter Content, and SharePoint— not including the multiple regional offices and departments with their own copies of documents. Therefore, there were multiple versions of content, outdated content, and no reviews or ownership of content across the company. Due to the unorganized content management, the company had no connection between project-specific content and the master documents. The manuals were tedious to assemble and constantly out of date.

Inevitably, the company decided to change their content management system to accommodate the changing corporate landscape. They wanted to achieve financial value with their content management processes, as well as support their strategic goals such as mitigate risk, create a competitive advantage, and improve customer focus.

The desired capabilities of their new content management system were:

  • Browse menu for structured navigation
  • Google search for keyword searches
  • Structure search pages for advanced search
  • Visual navigation based on their lifecycle framework
Oracle WebCenter Paired with Fishbowl’s ControlCenter

The real estate company chose to work with Fishbowl Solutions because of their WebCenter Content Consulting services experience and expertise. WebCenter was an existing technology investment for the company, but also provided advantages for their content management goals. WebCenter boasts flexible metadata and document profiles, as well as robust version control. Additionally, there is a tiered security, flexible workflow engine, and integration with other applications such as JD Edwards. The other reason the company chose Fishbowl was because of its ControlCenter product. ControlCenter is an all-in-one solution for ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and automating document control. It has a dedicated user interface and extends the functionality of WebCenter with document control, knowledge management, compliance and audibility.

After consulting the company on their existing situation and goals, Fishbowl implemented ControlCenter with Oracle WebCenter Content for the employees to manage, maintain, and share corporate knowledge, assembled manuals, and real estate archives. ControlCenter provided a modern, mobile-ready interface which included search, retrieval, and document control capabilities. It also offers a role-aware interface, including a dashboard for documents requiring attention which would be driven by workflow review notifications. Additionally, the interface enabled relevant content to be located based on the phase of a project (i.e. preconstruction) and the project member role (i.e. developer); therefore, the employees have relevant, necessary information for their positions. The system was also integrated Oracle JD Edwards to sync lease information as lease agreements were kicked off in ControlCenter.

Results

With the implementation in place, the new ControlCenter platform made it easier to train the general user (approximately five to 10 minutes) and decreased onboarding cost per employee by two times because of better process documentation, knowledge sharing, and mobile access. With that, less time is now spent on training and onboarding. ControlCenter also ensures compliance through a schedule review process and the highest degree of content and metadata accuracy. Content owners are now aware of out-of-date information and data and users can easily find the content anytime and anywhere on both desktop and mobile devices. In addition to creating a more effective workspace, Fishbowl helped reduce project startup costs by $400,000 through the reduction of duplicated work.

The post Fishbowl Solutions’ ControlCenter Drives Down Project-Related Costs by $400,000 for National Builder and Real Estate Management Company appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Chatbot Tech Round Table: Three Real Life Use Cases on How Oracle Chatbots Can Be Integrated into Cloud Applications

Watch this video to gather more insight into chatbot capabilities.

Chatbots are increasingly becoming an excellent tool for organizations to consider when developing their user experience. They provide a fast and engaging way for users to access information more efficiently. In this video, you will learn just a few ways of how chatbots can be used by being integrated into cloud applications. Fishbowl’s John Sim, an Oracle Ace, demonstrates three different scenarios in which chatbots can improve the user experience for an account manager.

What You’ll See:

  • The day in the life of an account manager onsite with a customer using a chatbot
  • How chatbots make onboarding more efficient by providing new sales reps with interactive training
  • How chatbots enhance an account managers ability to engage with a customer with knowledge from the Oracle mobile cloud

To get even more information about chatbots and how you can better utilize their capabilities, please contact us directly at info@fishbowlsolutions.com or visit our chatbot consulting page.

The post Chatbot Tech Round Table: Three Real Life Use Cases on How Oracle Chatbots Can Be Integrated into Cloud Applications appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Fishbowl Solutions Helps Global Communications Company Leverage Oracle WebCenter to Create a Consumer-Grade Portal Experience for its Employees

An international communications, media, and automotive company based in the United States, with over $18 billion in revenue 60,000 employees globally, wanted to implement a new, consumer-grade portal to provide a digital workplace where employees can access company-wide information, as well as share tools and resources.

Business Objective

The company was challenged with having to manage and maintain four different portals across their divisions. Each of these had its own set of features including separate collaboration systems, design that did not comply with the company’s current branding and style guidelines, and ten-year old portal technology that was no longer supported.

Overall, the company envisioned a single portal to engage employees as ambassadors and customers by surfacing news about products and key initiatives. Additionally, provide employees with a broader knowledge of the entire company beyond their divisions. In considering this vision, the company outlined their objectives:

  • Connect and engage employees by providing them with easy access to company, department news, resources and tools
  • Improve user experience (UX) design and content restructuring of employee information systems
  • Enhance and increase employee collaboration
To create a connected, consumer-like digital experience that promotes collaboration, sparks innovation, and helps employees get their jobs done, any place, any time, on any device

Company Mission Statement for the New Portal

Portal Solution Accelerator Implementation

After evaluating several enterprise portal platforms, the company chose Oracle WebCenter as the system they would use to build their employee digital workplace portal. Oracle WebCenter includes content management and portal components. It was particularly chosen due to its scalability and performance (backed by Oracle database), its ability to target and personalize content based on metadata, its flexibility to provide integrations with third-party collaboration systems, and its ability to integrate with Oracle applications including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, and Taleo Cloud Service.

The company had limited Oracle WebCenter development and implementation experience and resources, so they sought out partners to help with their new portal implementation. Fishbowl Solutions was chosen based on their vast Oracle WebCenter experience and expertise. Additionally, Fishbowl offered a portal jumpstart framework called Portal Solution Accelerator (PSA) that provided additional software capabilities to drive better user experience and overall performance. This includes integrating content to be consumed on the portal using single page applications (SPA) instead of Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) taskflows. SPA taskflows are more lightweight and can therefore be more easily consumed on the portal without impacting performance. SPA taskflows also enable the use of other front-end design frameworks, such as Oracle JET (JavaScript Extension Toolkit), enabling web designers and marketers to develop their own components with basic Javascript, HTML, and CSS knowledge.

Fishbowl Solutions leveraged its PSA to address seven critical capabilities the company wanted from the new portal:

  • Hybrid Content Integration – Ability to make quick updates/edits to content on the portal portal via a web inline editor, while having new content be checked in via profiles using Oracle WebCenter Content
  • Personlization – Content targeted to individuals based on such user attributes as Division, Department, Company, Loacation, Management, and Employee Type
  • Security – Leveraged roles and groups from Oracle Unified Directory to drive security. Fishbowl’s Advanced User Security Mapping (AUSM) software was used to ease user management because it enables rules to be created to map LDAP attributes to WebCenter roles (participant, contributor, administrator, etc.)
  • Collaboration – Integrated 3rd-party collaboration system, Jive, into the portal user experience so that users can see activity stream and collaborate with others in-context of the portal
  • Application Integration – Integrated with PeopleSoft Human Capital Management to pull additional employee data onto the portal. This was needed for upper management to be able to quickly view HR-related tasks on mobile devices.
  • Content & People Search – Content indexed by the Google Search Appliance is made available by searching on the portal where secure results are returned
  • Optimal Portal Performance – Leveraged local Oracle Coherence cache available per node in WebCenter Portal, while Redis was used as a means to create a central publishing model for updated content to the cache
Results

WebCenter portal devicesThe company officially launched the new employee portal in July of 2017. Since then, user feedback has been very positive. The value-add capabilities of Fishbowl PSA – standard portal page templates and layouts, mega-menu navigation, role-based content contribution using Oracle WebCenter Content – meant the company could focus on implementation and not custom development. This reduced time-to-market by 25 percent. Typically, the company has around 1,500 concurrent users on the home page, which loads in about 4.5 seconds. Secondary page visits take around 2.5 seconds to load. This performance is easily tracked as the company sees around 40,000 active users each week with minimal complaints or issues reported. The load times have exceeded expectations.

It has been reported that 92 percent of user sessions occur from the desktop, 5 percent from smartphones, and 2 percent from tablets. The most popular portal page is the Home page, followed by Time Reporting, Jobs, My Pay, and Employee Discounts.

Overall, the new portal has provided employees with a broader knowledge of the entire company beyond their position, division, and department, while bringing together one unified message and brand.

This is a very well put together site. I will definitely use it more than the old portal.

Field Service Representative

The post Fishbowl Solutions Helps Global Communications Company Leverage Oracle WebCenter to Create a Consumer-Grade Portal Experience for its Employees appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Using CFDOT (CF Diego Operator Toolkit) on Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Pas Apicella - Tue, 2018-06-19 22:12
I decided to use CFDOT (CF Diego Operator Toolkit) on my PCF 2.1 vSphere ENV today. Setting it up isn't required as it's installed out of the box on Bosh Managed Diego Cell as shown below. It gives nice detailed information around Cell Capacity and other useful metrics.

1. SSH into Ops Manager VM

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/PCF/APJ/PEZ-HaaS/haas-165$ ssh ubuntu@opsmgr.haas-165.mydns.com
Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. All access and activity
is subject to logging and monitoring.
ubuntu@opsmgr.haas-165.mydns.com's password:
Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.0-124-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com/

...

ubuntu@bosh-stemcell:~$

At this point you will need to log into the Bosh Director as described below


2. Issue a command as follows once logged in to get all VM's. We just need a name of one of the Diego CELL VM's

ubuntu@bosh-stemcell:~$ bosh -e vmware vms --column=Instance --column="Process State"
Using environment '1.1.1.1' as user 'director' (bosh.*.read, openid, bosh.*.admin, bosh.read, bosh.admin)

Task 12086
Task 12087
Task 12086 done

Task 12087 done

Deployment 'cf-edc48fe108f1e5581fba'

Instance                                                            Process State
backup-prepare/eff97a4b-15a2-425c-8333-1dbaaefbb5ff                 running
clock_global/d77c485f-7d7c-43ae-b9de-584411ffa0bd                   running
cloud_controller/874dd06c-b76e-427a-943e-dea66f0345b6               running
cloud_controller/bba1819e-b7f4-4a34-897a-c78f6189667c               running
cloud_controller_worker/803bfb3f-653b-4311-b831-9b76e602714e        running
cloud_controller_worker/f5956edb-9510-4d99-a0f7-8545831b45ec        running
consul_server/3bfdc6bd-2f1d-4607-8564-148fadd4bc3d                  running
consul_server/4927cc4b-4531-429b-b379-83e283b779ba                  running
consul_server/69c1c5ee-8288-49bd-9112-afe05fe536f4                  running
diego_brain/01d3914c-2ab1-4b75-ada7-2267f34faee6                    running
diego_brain/564cf558-c2dc-4045-a4d1-54f633633dd6                    running
diego_brain/a22c2621-4278-4a83-94ee-34287deb9310                    running
diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf                     running
diego_cell/9452a3b4-d40c-49f1-9dbf-8d74202f7dff                     running
diego_cell/dfc8e214-2e59-4050-9312-1113662ce79f                     running

...

3. SSH into a Bosh managed Diego Cell VM. Use the correct name for one of your Diego Cells and your deployment name for CF itself

ubuntu@bosh-stemcell:~$ bosh -e vmware -d cf-edc48fe108f1e5581fba ssh diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf
Using environment '1.1.1.1' as user 'director' (bosh.*.read, openid, bosh.*.admin, bosh.read, bosh.admin)

Using deployment 'cf-edc48fe108f1e5581fba'

....

4. Run a command as follows "sudo su -"

diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf:~$ sudo su -

5. Verify CFDOT CLI is installed using "cfdot"

diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf:~# cfdot
A command-line tool to interact with a Cloud Foundry Diego deployment

Usage:
  cfdot [command]

Available Commands:
  actual-lrp-groups            List actual LRP groups
  actual-lrp-groups-for-guid   List actual LRP groups for a process guid
  cancel-task                  Cancel task
  cell                         Show the specified cell presence
  cell-state                   Show the specified cell state
  cell-states                  Show cell states for all cells
  cells                        List registered cell presences
  claim-lock                   Claim Locket lock
  claim-presence               Claim Locket presence
  create-desired-lrp           Create a desired LRP
  create-task                  Create a Task
  delete-desired-lrp           Delete a desired LRP
  delete-task                  Delete a Task
  desired-lrp                  Show the specified desired LRP
  desired-lrp-scheduling-infos List desired LRP scheduling infos
  desired-lrps                 List desired LRPs
  domains                      List domains
  help                         Get help on [command]
  locks                        List Locket locks
  lrp-events                   Subscribe to BBS LRP events
  presences                    List Locket presences
  release-lock                 Release Locket lock
  retire-actual-lrp            Retire actual LRP by index and process guid
  set-domain                   Set domain
  task                         Display task
  task-events                  Subscribe to BBS Task events
  tasks                        List tasks in BBS
  update-desired-lrp           Update a desired LRP

Flags:
  -h, --help   help for cfdot

Use "cfdot [command] --help" for more information about a command.

6. Lets see what each Diego CELL has for Capacity as a whole

diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf:~# cfdot cells | jq -r
{
  "cell_id": "7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf",
  "rep_address": "http://10.193.229.62:1800",
  "zone": "RP01",
  "capacity": {
    "memory_mb": 16047,
    "disk_mb": 103549,
    "containers": 249
  },
  "rootfs_provider_list": [
    {
      "name": "preloaded",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "preloaded+layer",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "docker"
    }
  ],
  "rep_url": "https://7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf.cell.service.cf.internal:1801"
}
{
  "cell_id": "9452a3b4-d40c-49f1-9dbf-8d74202f7dff",
  "rep_address": "http://10.193.229.61:1800",
  "zone": "RP01",
  "capacity": {
    "memory_mb": 16047,
    "disk_mb": 103549,
    "containers": 249
  },
  "rootfs_provider_list": [
    {
      "name": "preloaded",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "preloaded+layer",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "docker"
    }
  ],
  "rep_url": "https://9452a3b4-d40c-49f1-9dbf-8d74202f7dff.cell.service.cf.internal:1801"
}
{
  "cell_id": "dfc8e214-2e59-4050-9312-1113662ce79f",
  "rep_address": "http://10.193.229.63:1800",
  "zone": "RP01",
  "capacity": {
    "memory_mb": 16047,
    "disk_mb": 103549,
    "containers": 249
  },
  "rootfs_provider_list": [
    {
      "name": "preloaded",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "preloaded+layer",
      "properties": [
        "cflinuxfs2"
      ]
    },
    {
      "name": "docker"
    }
  ],
  "rep_url": "https://dfc8e214-2e59-4050-9312-1113662ce79f.cell.service.cf.internal:1801"
}

7. Finally lets see what available resources we have on each Diego Cell

diego_cell/7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf:~# cfdot cell-states | jq '"Cell Id -> \(.cell_id): L -> \(.LRPs | length), Avaliable Resources [MemoryMB] -> \(.AvailableResources.MemoryMB), Avaliable Resources [DiskMB] -> \(.AvailableResources.DiskMB), Avaliable Resources [Containers] -> \(.AvailableResources.Containers)"' -r

Cell Id -> 7ca12f7d-737f-47fb-a8bc-91d73e4791cf: L -> 17, Avaliable Resources [MemoryMB] -> 6843, Avaliable Resources [DiskMB] -> 86141, Avaliable Resources [Containers] -> 232
Cell Id -> 9452a3b4-d40c-49f1-9dbf-8d74202f7dff: L -> 14, Avaliable Resources [MemoryMB] -> 5371, Avaliable Resources [DiskMB] -> 89213, Avaliable Resources [Containers] -> 235
Cell Id -> dfc8e214-2e59-4050-9312-1113662ce79f: L -> 14, Avaliable Resources [MemoryMB] -> 4015, Avaliable Resources [DiskMB] -> 89213, Avaliable Resources [Containers] -> 235

More Information

https://github.com/cloudfoundry/cfdot


Categories: Fusion Middleware

Top 10 Albums Meme

Greg Pavlik - Fri, 2018-05-25 21:27

I’ve been hit by a barrage of social media posts on people’s top 10 albums, so I thought I would take a look at what I have listened to the most in the last 5 years or so. I’m not claiming these are my favorites or “the best” albums recorded (in fact there are many better albums I enjoy). But I was somewhat surprised to find that I do return to the the same albums over and over, so here’s the top 10, in no particular order.

1)Alina, Arvo Part

If you were going to stereotype and box in Part’s work, this would be a good album to use. It’s also amazing enough that it could run on a continuous loop forever and I’d be pretty happy with that.

2)Benedicta: Marian Chants from Norcia, Monks of Norcia

Yes, the music hasn’t changed much from the middle ages. And yes, these are actually monks singing, who somehow managed to top the Billboard charts. The term to use is sublime – this music is quintessentially music of peace and another album that bears repetition with ease.

3) Mi Sueno, Ibrahim Ferrer

I know the whole Bueno Vista Social Club thing was trendy, but this music – Cuban bolero to be precise – is full of passion, charm, and romance: it music for human beings (which is harder and harder to find these days). This is at once a work of art and a testament to real life.

4) Dream River, Bill Callahan

I don’t even know what to categorize this music as: it’s not popular music, rock, easy listening, country or folk. But it has elements of most of those. Callahan’s baritone voice sounds like someone is speaking to you rather than singing. This album just gets better with the years of listening and it’s by far his best.

5) The Harrow and the Harvest, Gillian Welch

Appalachian roots, contemporary musical twists – I don’t know what they call this: alt-blue grass? In any case, its Welch’s best album and a solid, if somewhat dark, listen.

6) In the Spur of the Moment, Steve Turre

Turre does his jazz trombone (no conch shells on this album – which I am happy about) along with Ray Charles on piano for the first third or so, later trending toward more Afro-Cuban jazz style. I know the complaint on this one is that it feels a bit passionless in parts, but it’s a hard mix not to feel good about.

7) Treasury of Russian Gypsy Songs, Marusia Georgevskaya and Sergei Krotkoff

I’ll admit that it sounds like Georgevskaya has smoked more than a few cigarettes. But this is timeless music, a timeless voice, from a timeless culture. Sophie Milman’s Ochi Chernye is sultry and seductive (she is really fantastic), but somehow I like Marusia’s better.

9) Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave

Nick Cave is uneven at best and often mediocre but this album is distilled pain in poet form and a major work of art. For some reason I listen to this end to end semi regularly on my morning commute.

10) Old Crow Medicine Show, Old Crow Medicine Show

End to end, just hits the right notes over and over again. From introspective to political to just plain fun, these guys made real music for real people at their peak. Things fell apart after Willie Watson, but there is an almost perfect collection of authentic songs.

Deploying a Spring Boot Application on a Pivotal Container Service (PKS) Cluster on GCP

Pas Apicella - Wed, 2018-05-09 00:31
I have been "cf pushing" for as long as I can remember so with Pivotal Container Service (PKS) let's walk through the process of deploying a basic Spring Boot Application with a PKS cluster running on GCP.

Few assumptions:

1. PKS is already installed as shown by my Operations Manager UI below



2. A PKS Cluster already exists as shown by the command below

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks list-clusters

Name        Plan Name  UUID                                  Status     Action
my-cluster  small      1230fafb-b5a5-4f9f-9327-55f0b8254906  succeeded  CREATE

Example:

We will be using this Spring Boot application at the following GitHub URL

  https://github.com/papicella/springboot-actuator-2-demo


1. In this example my Spring Boot application has what is required within my maven build.xml file to allow me to create a Docker image as shown below
  
<!-- tag::plugin[] -->
<plugin>
<groupId>com.spotify</groupId>
<artifactId>dockerfile-maven-plugin</artifactId>
<version>1.3.6</version>
<configuration>
<repository>${docker.image.prefix}/${project.artifactId}</repository>
<buildArgs>
<JAR_FILE>target/${project.build.finalName}.jar</JAR_FILE>
</buildArgs>
</configuration>
</plugin>
<!-- end::plugin[] -->

<plugin>
<groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
<artifactId>maven-dependency-plugin</artifactId>
<executions>
<execution>
<id>unpack</id>
<phase>package</phase>
<goals>
<goal>unpack</goal>
</goals>
<configuration>
<artifactItems>
<artifactItem>
<groupId>${project.groupId}</groupId>
<artifactId>${project.artifactId}</artifactId>
<version>${project.version}</version>
</artifactItem>
</artifactItems>
</configuration>
</execution>
</executions>
</plugin>

2. Once a docker image was built I then pushed that to Docker Hub as shown below



3. Now we will need a PKS cluster as shown below before we can continue

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks cluster my-cluster

Name:                     my-cluster
Plan Name:                small
UUID:                     1230fafb-b5a5-4f9f-9327-55f0b8254906
Last Action:              CREATE
Last Action State:        succeeded
Last Action Description:  Instance provisioning completed
Kubernetes Master Host:   cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online
Kubernetes Master Port:   8443
Worker Instances:         3
Kubernetes Master IP(s):  192.168.20.10

4. Now we want to wire "kubectl" using a command as follows

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks get-credentials my-cluster

Fetching credentials for cluster my-cluster.
Context set for cluster my-cluster.

You can now switch between clusters by using:
$kubectl config use-context

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at https://cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online:8443
Heapster is running at https://cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/heapster/proxy
KubeDNS is running at https://cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kube-dns/proxy
monitoring-influxdb is running at https://cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/monitoring-influxdb/proxy

To further debug and diagnose cluster problems, use 'kubectl cluster-info dump'.

5. Now we are ready to deploy a Spring Boot workload to our cluster. To do that lets download the YAML file below

https://github.com/papicella/springboot-actuator-2-demo/blob/master/lb-withspringboot.yml

Once downloaded create a deployment as follows

$ kubectl create -f lb-withspringboot.yml

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ kubectl create -f lb-withspringboot.yml
service "spring-boot-service" created
deployment "spring-boot-deployment" created

6. Now let’s verify our deployment using some kubectl commands as follows

$ kubectl get deployment spring-boot-deployment
$ kubectl get pods
$ kubectl get svc

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ kubectl get deployment spring-boot-deployment
NAME                     DESIRED   CURRENT   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
spring-boot-deployment   1         1         1            1           1m

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ kubectl get pods
NAME                                     READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
spring-boot-deployment-ccd947455-6clwv   1/1       Running   0          2m

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ kubectl get svc
NAME                  TYPE           CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP     PORT(S)          AGE
kubernetes            ClusterIP      10.100.200.1               443/TCP          23m
spring-boot-service   LoadBalancer   10.100.200.137   35.197.187.43   8080:31408/TCP   2m

7. Using the external IP Address we got GCP to expose for us we can access our Spring Boot application on port 8080 as shown below using the external IP address. In this example

http://35.197.187.43:8080/



RESTful End Point

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ http http://35.197.187.43:8080/employees/1
HTTP/1.1 200
Content-Type: application/hal+json;charset=UTF-8
Date: Wed, 09 May 2018 05:26:19 GMT
Transfer-Encoding: chunked

{
    "_links": {
        "employee": {
            "href": "http://35.197.187.43:8080/employees/1"
        },
        "self": {
            "href": "http://35.197.187.43:8080/employees/1"
        }
    },
    "name": "pas"
}

More Information

Using PKS
https://docs.pivotal.io/runtimes/pks/1-0/using.html

Categories: Fusion Middleware

A Simple, Straightforward Method to Update Content on WebCenter-Based Portal Pages

In our experience working with numerous WebCenter Portal customers, almost all of whom suffered from failed portal/intranet implementations, this difficulty to update and quickly edit page content always lead to stagnant content throughout the portal. This stagnant content made the portal less sticky and therefore the organization didn’t realize widespread adoption.

The difficulty to add and update content was magnified by the fact that in most cases, portal page updates were performed by system administrators. As you can imagine especially in a large organization, the ability for a few admins making page updates across human resources, finance, marketing, and IT departments would cause bottlenecks and it would be days or weeks before the various business groups would see their new content on the portal. Because the business groups really couldn’t take ownership of the content on the portal, less and less changes or updates would be requested.

To make it easier for customers to update their portals and ultimately realize distributed content authoring, Fishbowl Solutions released its Portal Solution Accelerator (PSA) framework in 2012 which included a profile-driven process to make page updates. Today, one of the most desirable and usable features of Fishbowl’s Portal Solution Accelerator (PSA) is the inline editor. This feature enables portal users with the appropriate permissions to edit content directly on portal pages. Now before I provide more detail on this feature, I think it is important to provide some context on how Fishbowl Solutions has continued to make this feature easier for the business user to edit content.

With previous versions of PSA, the process involved the user going to the content server to find the content item. They then would check out the item, and then use a WYSIWYG-style editor to edit the content. After checking the content item back in they would return to the portal, refresh the page, and hopefully see the changes they made. To highlight what I’ve outlined above, see this video starting at 44:48.

With the current version of PSA, the inline editor was built with the business user mind. Fishbowl wanted to ensure that anyone with the appropriate permissions could edit page content and that the process itself could be done directly on the page itself. This would ensure that more users across more departments could be involved with keeping content on the portal fresh and new, helping companies get more value through higher adoption. An overview of the process is as follows:

  1. Users with the appropriate permissions go to the page they want to update. Hover effects indicate highlighted sections that can be updated.
  2. They then click on the edit icon (pencil on paper) that will appear in the bottom right corner of the editable section.
  3. Once clicked, stylized versions of Content Server profile pages appear. Within this profile form, the user can make any changes to page content. At this point, this page (content item) is checked out from the content server.
  4. Once finished the user click out of the profile form. This checks the item back in, which could trigger a workflow process for page reviews. The user that did the editing can then see in near real-time the updates to the page they made.

To illustrate how easy it is to edit portal page content with Fishbowl’s PSA inline editor, this video shows some examples of editing content, approving those items through workflow, and then seeing the updates.

As you can see, the inline editor feature of Fishbowl’s PSA makes it easy for anyone to update content on the portal. This feature alone ensures that more people within an organization, across departments and roles, can participate in content creation. With content being created more frequently, employees should be more engaged and better informed leading to higher rates of portal adoption.

The post A Simple, Straightforward Method to Update Content on WebCenter-Based Portal Pages appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Using/Verifying the Autoscale service from Apps Manager UI in 5 minutes

Pas Apicella - Fri, 2018-04-20 04:59
Recently at a customer site I was asked to show how the Autoscale service shipped by default with Pivotal Cloud Foundry would work. Here is how we demoed that in less then 5 minutes.

1. Select an application to Autoscale and click on the "Autoscaling" radio option.


2. Select "Manage Autoscaling" link as shown below.


3. Set the maximum instance limit to "4" and click Save as shown below. You can also set minimum to 1 instance if you want to which will make it easier to verify the scaling of instances as one instance can easily be put under pressure.


4. Now lets set a "Scaling Rule" by clicking on the "Edit" link as shown below.


5. Now lets add a CPU rule by clicking on the "Add" link as shown below.


6. Now define a CPU rule as shown below and click on Save. Don't forget to make it active using the radio option. In this example we use very low threshold BUT it would be better to increase this to something more realistic like 30% and 60% respectively.




Now at this point we are ready to test the Autoscale service BUT to do that we are going to have to create some load. Many different ways to do that but "ab" on my Mac was the fastest way.

8. Create some load on an endpoint for your application to force CPU utilization to increase as shown below

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ ab -n 10000 -c 25 http://springboot-actuator-appsmanager-delightful-jaguar.cfapps.io/employees
This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 1807734 $>
Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/
Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/

Benchmarking springboot-actuator-appsmanager-delightful-jaguar.cfapps.io (be patient)
Completed 1000 requests
Completed 2000 requests
Completed 3000 requests
Completed 4000 requests
Completed 5000 requests
Completed 6000 requests
Completed 7000 requests
Completed 8000 requests
Completed 9000 requests
Completed 10000 requests
Finished 10000 requests

....

9. If you return to Apps Manager UI soon enough you will see that the Autoscale service has fired events to add more instances as per the screen shots below.




It's worth noting that the CF CLI Plugin for Autoscale can also show us what we have defined as as shown below. More information on this plugin is as follows

https://docs.run.pivotal.io/appsman-services/autoscaler/using-autoscaler-cli.html#install

View which applications are using the Autoscaler service:

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ cf autoscaling-apps
Presenting autoscaler apps in org apples-pivotal-org / space development as papicella@pivotal.io
OK
Name                              Guid                                   Enabled   Min Instances   Max Instances
springboot-actuator-appsmanager   6c137fea-6a99-4069-8031-a2aa3978804c   true      2               4

View events for an application that has Autoscaler service bound to it:

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ cf autoscaling-events springboot-actuator-appsmanager
Presenting autoscaler events for app springboot-actuator-appsmanager for org apples-pivotal-org / space development as papicella@pivotal.io
OK
Time                   Description
2018-04-20T09:56:30Z   Scaled down from 3 to 2 instances. All metrics are currently below minimum thresholds.
2018-04-20T09:55:56Z   Scaled down from 4 to 3 instances. All metrics are currently below minimum thresholds.
2018-04-20T09:54:46Z   Can not scale up. At max limit of 4 instances. Current CPU of 20.75% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:54:11Z   Can not scale up. At max limit of 4 instances. Current CPU of 30.53% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:53:36Z   Can not scale up. At max limit of 4 instances. Current CPU of 32.14% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:53:02Z   Can not scale up. At max limit of 4 instances. Current CPU of 31.51% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:52:27Z   Scaled up from 3 to 4 instances. Current CPU of 19.59% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:51:51Z   Scaled up from 2 to 3 instances. Current CPU of 8.99% is above upper threshold of 8.00%.
2018-04-20T09:13:24Z   Scaling from 1 to 2 instances: app below minimum instance limit
2018-04-20T09:13:23Z   Enabled autoscaling.

More Information

https://docs.run.pivotal.io/appsman-services/autoscaler/using-autoscaler-cli.html#install

https://docs.run.pivotal.io/appsman-services/autoscaler/using-autoscaler.html

Categories: Fusion Middleware

The Intelligent Chatbot to Customer Service Agent Hand-Off within Zendesk

Chatbots are on the rise. By 2020, over 80% of businesses are expected to implement some type of chatbot automation (Business Insider, 2016). This type of automation is inevitable due to the amount of time and money that chatbots can save a business. However, especially in the early days of the chatbot revolution, a bot will not be able to solve all the problems that a human can. One specific use case for chatbots that we have examined is customer support. Customer support bots can reduce the workload of support staff by a great deal, but some customers will not find the support they need with a bot. Wouldn’t it be great if a customer could seamlessly go from talking to a bot to a live person in the same interface? That is exactly what we created at Fishbowl and you can see in this video.

Starting a conversation with this bot begins using Oracle’s chatbot framework, a feature of Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, much like the rest of our bots. It has the capability do all the integrations that our other bots have with systems such as Salesforce, Oracle Engagement Cloud, and Zendesk Software and Support ticketing system. However, this bot has the ability to connect to Zendesk’s live chat service for more personal support from a live agent. Using the bot, information is collected to be passed to the live agent, so that the live agent can know what was already asked and can waste no time in helping the customer.

To move from a bot conversation to a live chat conversation and back again, customizations had to be made to our web client. Since the live chat feature in Oracle’s bot framework is still a work in progress, the best solution was to stop sending messages to the bot after the user goes through the “connect to a live agent” chat flow. Instead, the web client sends messages directly to Zendesk and receives them in turn. Once the conversation has concluded, the bot returns to normal and talks to the bot framework once again.

Customer service is a critical component of the overall customer experience, and getting customers answers to common questions can go a long way to ensure brand loyalty. Some stats suggest that 80% of routine questions can be answered by a chatbot, but when an agent is needed it is important to provide a seamless handoff while providing the agent with context to immediately begin servicing the customer. If integrated correctly, chatbots and customer service/support representatives (agents) can together improve the customer service experience.

You can see more of the intelligent chatbots Fishbowl has created using Oracle Mobile Cloud here: https://www.fishbowlsolutions.com/oracle-intelligent-chatbot-cloud-service-consulting/

The post The Intelligent Chatbot to Customer Service Agent Hand-Off within Zendesk appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Collaborate Preview #2: Consider your Options for Moving Oracle WebCenter to the Cloud

By now, most people have heard about the benefits of cloud computing. To summarize, the cloud promises more agility and scalability, with less cost and administration. However, for legacy customers using on-premise software, getting to the cloud isn’t always a simple and straightforward process. In fact, a lot of times confusion on deployment options, pricing, customer-managed versus vendor-managed, and security may delay cloud strategies. This is definitely the case for Oracle WebCenter Content customers who have a myriad of options to move their documents, images, and other enterprise content to the cloud.

Fortunately for Oracle WebCenter customers, Oracle offers the most complete set of cloud services spanning Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). With this set of cloud services, Oracle WebCenter Content customers have industry-leading options to deploy their WebCenter instances to the cloud. Here is a summary of those options:

Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Service (IaaS)
  • Public cloud with granular control of security
  • Computing, block storage, networking services
  • Customer administered
  • Bring WebCenter licenses
  • Administration: High, user-owned
Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS)
  • Computing, block storage, networking services
  • Bring WebCenter licenses
  • Administration: High, user-owned
Oracle Java Cloud Service (PaaS)
  • Full operating environment including WebLogic
  • Complete control and customization
  • Bring WebCenter licenses
  • Administration: Moderate to low
Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service (PaaS)
  • WebCenter Portal in the Cloud
  • Metered or non-metered licenses
  • Administration: Moderate to low

You might be surprised that Oracle WebCenter Portal Cloud Service is listed above as one of the options to move Oracle WebCenter Content to, but it does present a viable solution. The user experience has always been one of the biggest complaints with WebCenter Content. Moving your content to the cloud and using WebCenter Portal Cloud to create intranets, extranets, composite applications, self-service portals and user experiences to access content could ensure a better user experience overall, and ensure more adoption going forward. It provides users a more secure and efficient means to consume information while being able to also interact with applications, processes, and other users. The added benefit is that it comes with Oracle WebCenter Content.

We will be discussing more about the options WebCenter Content and Portal customers have to move their on-premise instances to the Oracle Cloud at Collaborate 2018 during this session: Options and Considerations for Moving Oracle WebCenter Content & Portal to the Cloud, which takes place on Monday, April 23rd from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. In this session, Fishbowl’s Director of Solutions, Jerry Aber, will go into more detail about the Oracle Cloud options listed above, as well as what to expect from a pricing perspective. Come hear about considerations for hybrid cloud environments as well, and what that means from an Oracle Cloud architecture perspective.

For more information on all of Fishbowl’s activities at Collaborate 2018, please visit this page: https://www.fishbowlsolutions.com/about/news/collaborate/

The post Collaborate Preview #2: Consider your Options for Moving Oracle WebCenter to the Cloud appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Spring Cloud Services CF CLI Plugin

Pas Apicella - Tue, 2018-04-10 06:27
The Spring Cloud Services plugin for the Cloud Foundry Command Line Interface tool (cf CLI) adds commands for interacting with Spring Cloud Services service instances. It provides easy access to functionality relating to the Config Server and Service Registry; for example, it can be used to send values to a Config Server service instance for encryption or to list all applications registered with a Service Registry service instance.

Here is a simple example of how we can view various bound apps for a Service Registry

1. Install the CF CLI Plugin for Spring Cloud Services using the link below

$ cf add-plugin-repo CF-Community https://plugins.cloudfoundry.org

$ cf install-plugin -r CF-Community "Spring Cloud Services"

2. Now in Apps Manager UI we have a Service Registry instance with some bound micro services as shown below



3. Now we can use the SCS CF CLI Plugin to also get this information

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ cf service-registry-list eureka-service
Listing service registry eureka-service in org apples-pivotal-org / space scs-demo as papicella@pivotal.io...
OK

Service instance: eureka-service
Server URL: https://eureka-fcf42b1c-6b85-444c-9a43-fee82f2c68c3.cfapps.io/

eureka app name cf app name    cf instance index zone      status
EDGE-SERVICE    edge-service   0                 cfapps.io UP
COFFEE-SERVICE  coffee-service 0                 cfapps.io UP

The full list of plugin commands are as shown in the screen shot below. 

Note: Use "cf plugins" to get this list once installed


More Information

http://docs.pivotal.io/spring-cloud-services/1-5/common/cf-cli-plugin.html

Categories: Fusion Middleware

Collaborate Preview #1: How a Chatbot Army Could Help Your Business

No matter your profession, having an assistant to provide some help would be awesome. Someone to compile data, run reports, enter information into systems, look up key details, and even order your new business cards after your promotion. Unfortunately, most professionals don’t have an actual human assistant to perform tasks like these specifically for them. Most of these tasks we all do ourselves, and while they all may be important and necessary, they take time away from more value-add tasks and those parts of your job you really enjoy.

Sales professionals, for example, all have a multitude of tasks they need to perform that actually gets them to their desired result: making the sale. They need to update their customer relationship management (CRM) system daily with new or edited opportunities, new contacts, notes from customer calls, and what their activities or tasks will be for the day. Not only are these updates important for each and every sales representative, but they are also critical for sales managers who need to review pipeline and forecast information and share it with executive or leadership teams. And while performing these updates or accessing sales data may only take about 15 minutes, if they are performed every business day over 1 year, sales reps stand to lose about 2 selling days. Multiply that number by how many sales reps your company employs, and we’re talking 15, 20 or even 30 selling days lost in a year.

Another example is the questions employees have regarding company policies and procedures, as well as the small issues they might encounter every day. Even the best employee onboarding and training programs are not going to help all employees remember vacation policies, or how to change insurance beneficiaries, or what to do if they need to reset a password. When faced with these unknowns, most employees are going to call the company help desk. They will probably get the answers they need, but it will cost them their time, and it will perpetuate the high costs to staff and maintain the company help desk.

Fishbowl Atlast Intelligent Chatbot So, is it possible within an organization to have an assistant for every employee? With chatbots or virtual assistants, the answer is yes. Purpose-built chatbots can be created for human resources to answer employee FAQs (frequently asked questions), and in sales to help update CRM systems and get sales collateral and data quickly through a conversational user interface. Fishbowl Solutions is leveraging Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, Enterprise, and its intelligent chatbot feature, to create chatbots for these use cases and more. We will be discussing how these chatbots get created, and why chatbots need to be built to satisfy specific use cases at Collaborate 2018 during this session: Rise of the Bot Army with Oracle Mobile Cloud Enterprise, which takes place on Tuesday, April 24th from 1:15 to 2:15 PM. Come hear how chatbots can help sales, marketing, customer service, human resources, and other departments cut costs, automate routine or manual tasks, and provide 24 x 7 customer and/or employee engagement. And yes, if you get that promotion, a chatbot could help you get your new business cards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOkbMiV-j0s

You can also stop by Fishbowl’s booth #848 to see a demo of Fishbowl’s Atlas intelligent chatbot. For more information on Fishbowl’s activities at Collaborate 2018, please visit this page: https://www.fishbowlsolutions.com/about/news/collaborate/

The post Collaborate Preview #1: How a Chatbot Army Could Help Your Business appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Deploying my first Pivotal Container Service (PKS) workload to my PKS cluster

Pas Apicella - Wed, 2018-04-04 01:15
If you followed along on the previous blogs you would of installed PKS 1.0 on GCP (Google Cloud Platform) and created your first PKS cluster and wired it into kubectl as well as provided an external load balancer as per the previous two posts.

Previous posts:

Install Pivotal Container Service (PKS) on GCP and getting started
http://theblasfrompas.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/install-pivotal-container-service-pks.html

Wiring kubectl / Setup external LB on GCP into Pivotal Container Service (PKS) clusters to get started
http://theblasfrompas.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/wiring-kubectl-setup-external-lb-on-gcp.html

So lets now create our first workload as shown below

1. Download YML demo from here

https://github.com/cloudfoundry-incubator/kubo-ci/blob/master/specs/nginx-lb.yml

2. Deploy as shown below

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS/demo-workload$ kubectl create -f nginx-lb.yml
service "nginx" created
deployment "nginx" created

3. Check current status

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS/demo-workload$ kubectl get pods
NAME                     READY     STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
nginx-679dc9c764-8cwzq   1/1       Running   0          22s
nginx-679dc9c764-p8tf2   1/1       Running   0          22s
nginx-679dc9c764-s79mp   1/1       Running   0          22s

4. Wait for External IP address of the nginx service to be assigned

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS/demo-workload$ kubectl get svc
NAME         TYPE           CLUSTER-IP       EXTERNAL-IP     PORT(S)        AGE
kubernetes   ClusterIP      10.100.200.1               443/TCP        17h
nginx        LoadBalancer   10.100.200.143   35.189.23.119   80:30481/TCP   1m

5. In a browser access the K8's workload as follows, using the external IP

http://35.189.23.119



More Info

https://docs.pivotal.io/runtimes/pks/1-0/index.html
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Wiring kubectl / Setup external LB on GCP into Pivotal Container Service (PKS) clusters to get started

Pas Apicella - Tue, 2018-04-03 22:45
Now that I have PCF 2.1 running with PKS 1.0 installed and a cluster up and running how would I get started accessing that cluster? Here are the steps for GCP (Google Cloud Platform) install of PCF 2.1 with PKS 1.0. It goes through the requirements around an External LB for the cluster as well as wiring kubectl into the cluster to get started creating deployments.

Previous blog as follows:

http://theblasfrompas.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/install-pivotal-container-service-pks.html

1. First we will want an external Load Balancer for our K8's clusters which will need to exist and it would be a TCP Load balancer using Port 8443 which is the port the master node would run on. The external IP address is what you will need to use in the next step



2. Create a Firewall Rule for the LB with details as follows.

Note: the LB name is "pks-cluster-api-1". Make sure to include the network tag and select the network you installed PKS on.

  • Network: Make sure to select the right network. Choose the value that matches with the VPC Network name you installed PKS on
  • Ingress - Allow
  • Target: pks-cluster-api-1
  • Source: 0.0.0.0/0
  • Ports: tcp:8443





3. Now you could easily just create a cluster using the external IP address from above or use a DNS entry which is mapped to the external IP address which is what I have done so I have use a FQDN instead

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks create-cluster my-cluster --external-hostname cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online --plan small

Name:                     my-cluster
Plan Name:                small
UUID:                     64a086ce-c94f-4c51-95f8-5a5edb3d1476
Last Action:              CREATE
Last Action State:        in progress
Last Action Description:  Creating cluster
Kubernetes Master Host:   cluster1.pks.pas-apples.online
Kubernetes Master Port:   8443
Worker Instances:         3
Kubernetes Master IP(s):  In Progress


4. Now just wait a while while it creates a VM's and runs some tests , it's roughly around 10 minutes. Once done you will see the cluster as created as follows

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ pks list-clusters

Name        Plan Name  UUID                                  Status     Action
my-cluster  small      64a086ce-c94f-4c51-95f8-5a5edb3d1476  succeeded  CREATE

5. Now one of the VM's created would be the master Vm for the cluster , their a few ways to determine the master VM as shown below.

5.1. Use GCP Console VM instances page and filter by "master"



5.2. Run a bosh command to view the VM's of your deployments. We are interested in the VM's for our cluster service. The master instance is named as "master/ID" as shown below.

$ bosh -e gcp vms --column=Instance --column "Process State" --column "VM CID"

Task 187. Done

Deployment 'service-instance_64a086ce-c94f-4c51-95f8-5a5edb3d1476'

Instance                                     Process State  VM CID
master/13b42afb-bd7c-4141-95e4-68e8579b015e  running        vm-4cfe9d2e-b26c-495c-4a62-77753ce792ca
worker/490a184e-575b-43ab-b8d0-169de6d708ad  running        vm-70cd3928-317c-400f-45ab-caf6fa8bd3a4
worker/79a51a29-2cef-47f1-a6e1-25580fcc58e5  running        vm-e3aa47d8-bb64-4feb-4823-067d7a4d4f2c
worker/f1f093e2-88bd-48ae-8ffe-b06944ea0a9b  running        vm-e14dde3f-b6fa-4dca-7f82-561da9c03d33

4 vms

6. Attach the VM to the load balancer backend configuration as shown below.



7. Now we can get the credentials from PKS CLI and pass them to kubectl as shown below

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ pks get-credentials my-cluster

Fetching credentials for cluster my-cluster.
Context set for cluster my-cluster.

You can now switch between clusters by using:
$kubectl config use-context

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ kubectl cluster-info
Kubernetes master is running at https://cluster1.pks.domain-name:8443
Heapster is running at https://cluster1.pks.domain-name:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/heapster/proxy
KubeDNS is running at https://cluster1.pks.domain-name:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/kube-dns/proxy
monitoring-influxdb is running at https://cluster1.pks.domain-name:8443/api/v1/namespaces/kube-system/services/monitoring-influxdb/proxy

8. To verify it worked for you here are some commands you would run. The "kubectl cluster-info" is one of those.

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ kubectl get componentstatus
NAME                 STATUS    MESSAGE              ERROR
controller-manager   Healthy   ok
scheduler            Healthy   ok
etcd-0               Healthy   {"health": "true"}

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ kubectl get pods
No resources found.

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ kubectl get deployments
No resources found.

9. Finally lets start the Kubernetes UI to monitor this cluster. We do that as easily as this.

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~/pivotal/GCP/install/21/PKS$ kubectl proxy
Starting to serve on 127.0.0.1:8001  

The UI URL requires you to append /ui to the url above

Eg: http://127.0.0.1:8001/ui

Note: It will prompt you for the kubectl config file which would be in the $HOME/.kube/config file. Failure to present this means the UI won't show you much and give lost of warnings




More Info

https://docs.pivotal.io/runtimes/pks/1-0/index.html
Categories: Fusion Middleware

Install Pivotal Container Service (PKS) on GCP and getting started

Pas Apicella - Tue, 2018-04-03 20:15
With the release of Pivotal Cloud Foundry 2.1 (PCF) I decided this time to install Pivotal Application Service (PAS) as well as Pivotal Container Service (PKS) using the one Bosh Director which isn't recommended for production installs BUT ok for dev installs. Once installed you will have both the PAS tile and PKS tile as shown below.

https://content.pivotal.io/blog/pivotal-cloud-foundry-2-1-adds-cloud-native-net-envoy-native-service-discovery-to-boost-your-transformation


So here is how to get started with PKS once it's installed

1. Create a user for the PKS client to login with.

1.1. ssh into the ops manager VM

1.2. Target the UAA endpoint for PKS this was setup in the PKS tile

ubuntu@opsman-pcf:~$ uaac target https://PKS-ENDPOINT:8443 --skip-ssl-validation
Unknown key: Max-Age = 86400

Target: https://PKS-ENDPOINT:8443

1.3. Authenticate with UAA using the secret you retrieve from the PKS tile / Credentials tab as shown in the image below. Run the following command, replacing UAA-ADMIN-SECRET with your UAA admin secret

ubuntu@opsman-pcf:~$ uaac token client get admin -s UAA-ADMIN-SECRET
Unknown key: Max-Age = 86400

Successfully fetched token via client credentials grant.
Target: https://PKS-ENDPIONT:8443
Context: admin, from client admin



1.4. Create an ADMIN user as shown below using the UAA-ADMIN-SECRET password obtained form ops manager UI as shown above

ubuntu@opsman-pcf:~$ uaac user add pas --emails papicella@pivotal.io -p PASSWD
user account successfully added

ubuntu@opsman-pcf:~$ uaac member add pks.clusters.admin pas
success

2. Now lets login using the PKS CLI with a new admin user we created

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks login -a PKS-ENDPOINT -u pas -p PASSWD -k

API Endpoint: pks-api.pks.pas-apples.online
User: pas

3. You can test whether you have a DNS issue with a command as follows. 

Note: A test as follows determines any DNS issues you may have

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ nc -vz PKS-ENDPOINT 8443
found 0 associations
found 1 connections:
     1: flags=82
outif en0
src 192.168.1.111 port 62124
dst 35.189.1.209 port 8443
rank info not available
TCP aux info available

Connection to PKS-ENDPOINT port 8443 [tcp/pcsync-https] succeeded!

4. You can run a simple command to verify your connected as follows, below shows no K8's clusters exist at this stage

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks list-clusters

Name  Plan Name  UUID  Status  Action

You can use PKS CLI to create a new cluster, view clusters, resize clusters etc

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks

The Pivotal Container Service (PKS) CLI is used to create, manage, and delete Kubernetes clusters. To deploy workloads to a Kubernetes cluster created using the PKS CLI, use the Kubernetes CLI, kubectl.

Version: 1.0.0-build.3

Note: The PKS CLI is under development, and is subject to change at any time.

Usage:
  pks [command]

Available Commands:
  cluster         View the details of the cluster
  clusters        Show all clusters created with PKS
  create-cluster  Creates a kubernetes cluster, requires cluster name and an external host name
  delete-cluster  Deletes a kubernetes cluster, requires cluster name
  get-credentials Allows you to connect to a cluster and use kubectl
  help            Help about any command
  login           Login to PKS
  logout          Logs user out of the PKS API
  plans           View the preconfigured plans available
  resize          Increases the number of worker nodes for a cluster

Flags:
  -h, --help      help for pks
      --version   version for pks

Use "pks [command] --help" for more information about a command.

5. You would create a cluster as follows now you have logged in and yu will get aK8's cluster to begin working with

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks create-cluster my-cluster --external-hostname EXT-LB-HOST --plan small

Name:                     my-cluster
Plan Name:                small
UUID:                     64a086ce-c94f-4c51-95f8-5a5edb3d1476
Last Action:              CREATE
Last Action State:        in progress
Last Action Description:  Creating cluster
Kubernetes Master Host:   cluster1.FQDN
Kubernetes Master Port:   8443
Worker Instances:         3
Kubernetes Master IP(s):  In Progress

Finally when done you will see "Last Action:" as "succeeded" as shown below

pasapicella@pas-macbook:~$ pks cluster my-cluster

Name:                     my-cluster
Plan Name:                small
UUID:                     64a086ce-c94f-4c51-95f8-5a5edb3d1476
Last Action:              CREATE
Last Action State:        succeeded
Last Action Description:  Instance provisioning completed
Kubernetes Master Host:   cluster1.FQDN
Kubernetes Master Port:   8443
Worker Instances:         3
Kubernetes Master IP(s):  MASTER-IP-ADDRESS

More Info

https://docs.pivotal.io/runtimes/pks/1-0/index.html


Categories: Fusion Middleware

GSA Migration is Easier than Ever with the Mindbreeze Winter 2018 Release

Mindbreeze recently announced the Winter 2018 release of Mindbreeze InSpire which brings a number of new features and enhancements to Mindbreeze customers. One notable addition is the GSA Transformer Service which enables Mindbreeze to receive Google Search Appliance (GSA) queries and provide a GSA-formatted XML response. Add this to the list of GSA-friendly features already in place, and Mindbreeze continues to lead the way as an easy-to-implement GSA replacement. Read on to discover the top six ways Mindbreeze simplifies your GSA migration.

GSA Transformer Service

The newly released GSA Transformer Service enables a Mindbreeze client service (roughly comparable to a GSA front end) to accept GSA-formatted search requests. The GSA transformer service supports the following GSA search parameters:

  • start
  • num
  • getfields
  • requiredfields
  • query operators
  • filter
  • paging

When calling the GSA Transfomer Service, Mindbreeze provides an XML response that is compatible with Google Search Appliance implementations. The Mindbreeze XML conforms to the GSA DTD and includes configured metadata, snippets, Dynamic Navigation (configured as Filters in Mindbreeze), and Spelling Suggestions (e.g. “Did you mean”). This new option means that GSA customers can migrate to Mindbreeze without having to re-implement their custom search pages, which reduces the implementation effort.

GSA Feed Adapter Service

The Mindbreeze GSA Feed Adapter service allows Mindbreeze to accept GSA-formatted XML feeds as a means of indexing content. Feeds can be sent in both metadata-and-URL and content feed formats. Feeds are submitted to the Mindbreeze appliance as a POST request to a specific port in much the same way as they were within the GSA. Feed content can also be mapped into collections as part of the GSA Feed Adapter configuration. Collections in Mindbreeze are simply additional metadata which can be added to content for the purposes of filtering or segmentation. The GSA Feed Adapter contains a built-in configuration option for copying collection definitions from the GSA and assigning fed content to these collections. The Mindbreeze GSA Feed Adapter service means that customers with feed-based GSA indexing customizations can keep using their existing integrations.

GSA Vocabulary Mode for Synonyms

Mindbreeze includes a number of query expansion features to support synonyms, replacements, and custom dictionaries. For customers already using GSA synonym files, Mindbreeze provides the option to use a GSA-formatted vocabulary definition. If you have a large number of such files, an entire directory can be configured with all the query expansion files downloaded from your GSA. Like the GSA, query expansion can be configured globally for the entire search appliance. This is the simplest option and a good choice if your query expansion rules are fairly universal. Mindbreeze customers also have the option to configure query expansion (e.g. synonyms) for specific data sources thereby opening the door to support more granular and use-case specific sets of terms.

Support for googleon/googleoff Tags

For many customers, there may be portions of web page content that you want to exclude from indexing. To address this, Google suggested the use of googleon/googleoff tags. By embedding googleon/googleoff tags in HTML documents, you can disable the indexing of a portion of a web page. As part of the Mindbreeze web crawler configuration, customers may opt to enforce the use of googleon/googleoff tags. This reduces rework necessary to restrict the scope of indexed web content during a GSA-to-Mindbreeze migration. Fishbowl leveraged this option when integrating this website with Mindbreeze.

GSA Configuration Migration

Customers can expedite their implementation with the help of automated configuration mapping available from Mindbreeze. Their free service creates a Mindbreeze configuration file based on your existing GSA configuration. Typically between 60% and 80% of GSA settings can be migrated programmatically between the two search appliances and the rest can be addressed during implementation.

GSA-to-Mindbreeze Jumpstart for Websites

Fishbowl Solutions has been working with the Google Search Appliance since 2010 and has deep technical expertise around both the GSA and Mindbreeze. In order to simplify the transition, we’ve created the GSA-to-Mindbreeze Jumpstart for Websites. This three-day program is intended for customers migrating to Mindbreeze from the Google Search Appliance in order to provide website search capabilities. The Jumpstart is facilitated by one of Fishbowl’s Certified Implementation Experts and takes a collaborative approach to installing and configuring your appliance while training your team to manage it going forward. A training and scoping workbook is provided, and additional workshop days can be added to accommodate more complex implementations.

To learn more about how GSA features carry over to Mindbreeze, check out our previous post, How to Configure the Top 4 GSA Features in Mindbreeze – Plus 6 New Favorites. In the past eight years, we’ve helped numerous customers implement and maintain their GSAs. Despite the disruption caused by the GSA’s end of life, we’re excited about the many possibilities Mindbreeze has to offer. As a Mindbreeze partner, we provide resale, support, and implementation services. If you have questions or would like to know more, please contact us.

Time running out on your GSA?

Our expert team knows both GSA and Mindbreeze. We’ll help you understand your options and design a migration plan to fit your needs.

The post GSA Migration is Easier than Ever with the Mindbreeze Winter 2018 Release appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

Fishbowl Solutions to Defend Trophy at Oracle Modern CX Hackathon: Hack a Smarter Customer Experience Event

Fishbowl Solutions’ Oracle Mobile and Intelligent Chatbots team will once again be participating in the Oracle Modern CX Hackathon: Hack a Smarter Customer Experience event, which takes place on Wednesday, March 28th and 29th. This is Oracle’s second biannual two-day “Hack a Smarter Customer Experience” event, and this year it takes place at the Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.

This event brings together Oracle partners from around the world to work on a technical challenge that showcases a unique business case utilizing an Oracle Customer Experience SaaS (Software as a Service) and Oracle PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology, or ISV (Independent Software Vendor) solutions. During the two day event, participants and teams have access to Oracle product management A-Team experts who can offer suggestions, provide access to necessary systems, and review code.

Fishbowl Solutions’ Oracle Mobile and Intelligent Chatbots team will once again be participating in the Oracle Modern CX Hackathon: Hack a Smarter Customer Experience event, which takes place on Wednesday, March 28th and 29th. This is Oracle’ second biannual two-day “Hack a Smarter Customer Experience” event, and this year it takes place at the Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California.

This event brings together Oracle partners from around the world to work on a technical challenge that showcases a unique business case utilizing an Oracle Customer Experience SaaS (Software as a Service) and Oracle PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology, or ISV (Independent Software Vendor) solutions. During the two day event, participants and teams have access to Oracle product management A-Team experts who can offer suggestions, provide access to necessary systems, and review code.

Fishbowl won the inaugural Oracle hackathon event last year right before Oracle OpenWorld 2017. Last year’s team built SalesBot, which leverages the Oracle Intelligent Bot Cloud Service integrated with Oracle Engagement Cloud, Big Data Cloud Service, and Content and Experience Cloud. SalesBot is able to bring together customer data from multiple systems within a conversational user interface, including key contact details, opportunities, purchases, and forecast details. Using SalesBot saves valuable time as reps and managers don’t have to be at their computers and logged in to their CRM system, such as Salesforce, to manually enter, search, and retrieve customer data. More information on SalesBot can be found here. 

Hackathon participants/teams are judged on the following criteria: Business Use Case – 40%; UX Factor – 40%, and Technology Implementation – 20%. This year’s winners will be announced in a LIVE Judging Session at Oracle Modern Customer Experience, which takes place from April 10 – 12 in Chicago.

Tim Gruidl, Fishbowl’s President and CEO, will be speaking at two sessions at Oracle Modern Customer Experience on Wednesday, April 11th and Thursday, April 12th. Both of his topics will be about how chatbots are streamlining business processes in the enterprises. For a preview of his sessions, please visit our Oracle Modern Customer Experience page.

The post Fishbowl Solutions to Defend Trophy at Oracle Modern CX Hackathon: Hack a Smarter Customer Experience Event appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

Categories: Fusion Middleware, Other

How We Integrated this Website with the Mindbreeze InSpire Enterprise Search Appliance

As many of you know Fishbowl is a Mindbreeze Certified Partner and search appliance reseller. A core component of our company culture is using the same tools and technologies we implement for our customers. For that reason, and to give readers like you a chance to try out Mindbreeze in action, we have implemented Mindbreeze search here on fishbowlsolutions.com. Read on to learn more about the benefits and details of this integration.

Indexing Our Site

The first step in our Mindbreeze integration project was to configure Mindbreeze to crawl our website using the out of the box web crawler. We decided to split the content into two groups, blog posts and everything else, in order to distinctly configure how blog post content would be indexed. Mindbreeze allows the configuration of one or more crawler instances, so we created two crawlers with separate follow and do-not-follow patterns to index each content group.

Next we configured the extraction of content from the site. By default the crawler will crawl the entire contents of a page, but Mindbreeze can optionally restrict content indexing to a specific DIV or section. That way, words contained in your navigation or footer won’t be indexed for every page. For example, Fishbowl’s footer currently includes the word “Mindbreeze”, but when site users search for “Mindbreeze” we don’t want to return every page on the site—only those actually related to Mindbreeze. For customers already leveraging google-on google-off tags for this purpose (a feature from the Google Search Appliance), Mindbreeze can interpret those tags. We have a few spots on our blog where this was used to restrict the indexing of blog sidebars and other non-content elements within a page template.

We also configured metadata extraction from within the blog posts themselves. This was done by telling Mindbreeze (via XPATH selectors) where in the DOM the blog post author, category, and feature image data could be located. Again, this was all accomplished without altering the structure of the site itself or requiring additional work on the part of our site’s contributors. If you have standard htmltags within your pages, Mindbreeze will index these automatically.

Entity Recognition

As part of the index setup, we configured entity recognition to parse our pages (both blog and non-blog) for the names of the five key technologies Fishbowl works with. This was done using the Mindbreeze entity extraction feature. Each of the five possible values were mapped to a metadata field called Technology. Like the metadata extraction, the entities were extracted without having to change anything about the structure of our site or templates.

Query Expansion

Between the time when a user enters their query and the time the search engine computes relevant results, there is a critical piece in the search process often referred to as query expansion. Query expansion describes various ways in which the words the user types can be expanded upon or “understood” by the search engine in order to more accurately represent the original intent and locate the right content. One way queries can be expanded for better search is through the use of synonyms. Synonyms can be used to set related terms equal to one-another, make abbreviations equal to their full meanings, or set legacy terminology as synonymous with current nomenclature. Mindbreeze query expansion is used on this site to expand queries such as “Jobs” to include “Careers” and the legacy product name “UCM” to search for the new name, “WebCenter Content”. Mindbreeze also includes default stemming and spelling expansions to allow users to find content even if their query doesn’t exactly match our site’s data. For example, stemming allows users to search for “orders” and get results containing “order” “ordered” and “ordering.” It means users don’t have to know whether a word was in past tense, plural, or singular, in order to find what they need.

Relevancy and Result Boosting

Relevancy boosting allows administrators to further tune result ranking (also called biasing) based on factors such as metadata values, URL patterns, or date. These relevancy adjustments can be applied to specific sites, so that each audience sees what is most relevant to them. Relevancy is configured through the Mindbreeze Management Center without requiring custom development. On our site, the number of blog posts far outweigh the number of product pages; when someone searches for a product (such as Mindbreeze) we want the first result to be the main Mindbreeze product page. To ensure the main product pages (which may be older and contain fewer words than our latest blog posts) remain on the top, we can use Mindbreeze boosting to either increase the relevancy of product pages or decrease the relevancy of blog posts. All things being equal, it is better to down-boost less relevant content than to up-boost relevant content. We added a rule to reduce the relevancy of all blog post content by a factor of 0.75. We also boost our featured results by a factor of 10 to ensure they appear on top when relevant. In addition to manual tuning, Mindbreeze automatically monitors and analyzes click patterns to learn from user behavior and improve relevancy automatically over time.

Creating the Search Results Page

The search results page used on this site was created using the Mindbreeze Search App Designer. This builder provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating modular, mobile-friendly, search applications. Mindbreeze also provides a JSON API for fully custom search page development.

Our search app combines a list-style results widget and three filter widgets to limit the results based on Technology, Blog Post Category, and Blog Post Author. The filter widgets available within the builder are determined by the metadata available via the indexing configuration described earlier.

To personalize our search app, we made several modifications to the mustache templates which control the rendering of the various widgets. For example, we only show dates on blog posts and include the “blog post” callouts next to blog post titles.

Once the structure of the search app was complete, we were able use the export snippet functionality to copy the search app code from the Mindbreeze Management Center and embed that into a div within our site. In order to make the Mindbreeze search app match the look and feel of the rest of the website, we added a custom CSS file which overrides some of the standard Mindbreeze CSS within the search app.

Search Box Integration & Suggestions

To integrate Mindbreeze with our existing website’s search box, we modified the search input in the site header to direct search form submissions to the new Mindbreeze search results page. Since we are using WordPress, this involved modifying the header.php file within our site’s child theme. We also added a call to the Mindbreeze Suggest API, displayed using jQuery autocomplete, in order to provide search suggestions as you type. Most WCM systems have template files which can be modified to integrate Mindbreeze search into existing site headers. Our customers have similar integrations within Adobe Experience Manger and Oracle WebCenter Portal to name a few.

As a note for those familiar with WordPress, we could have customized the search.php template to include the Mindbreeze Export Snippet instead of creating a new search results page. We wanted to let our contributors edit the heading and call-to-action sections of our search results page without coding, so we built the search results into a standard WordPress page. This also allowed us to keep the core WordPress search page intact for comparison purposes (we are in the search business after all). From a technical perspective, either approach would have worked.

Closing Comments

We wanted to share the details about our integration to give anyone using or considering Mindbreeze an in-depth look at a real working search integration. The architecture and approach we took here can be applied to other platforms both internal and externally facing including SharePoint, Oracle WebCenter, or Liferay. Use the search box at the top of the page to try it for yourself. If you have any questions about Mindbreeze search integration options, please contact us.

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The post How We Integrated this Website with the Mindbreeze InSpire Enterprise Search Appliance appeared first on Fishbowl Solutions.

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